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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - The Fight for Peace - Part 2

Beth Moore - The Fight for Peace - Part 2

Beth Moore - The Fight for Peace - Part 2

Here's the premise I want you to take down because this is where I want us to go from here. This is what I'm presenting to you as a foundation for us to build on, right here. The cost of going on and on without experiential peace is astronomical and communicable. The cost of going on and on. Can anybody just raise your hand if you're going, like, "Yeah, I'm feeling that cost". This constant anxiety, and I'm not talking... I wanna say something very, very clearly here from the top. I'm not talking about anxiety disorders. That's totally, that's something we take to our doctor, something that needs help that is beyond what I'm talking about here. Although what we're talking about here can't do anything but help, can't do anything but help.

But I'm just talking about how freaked out we are, day to day, about everything under the sun. How, what lack of clarity... Has anybody noticed? You think, you know, I used to actually think clear thoughts. Has anybody noticed that? What do you think that is? That's chaos. Nothing's clear out there. And so, that fog, we're porous beings. That fog is just pouring into us. We can't think straight. The world is not thinking straight and we're not thinking straight with them. We have the mind of Christ. We've been given his peace and we get to demand it back. Experiential peace, experiential peace. The cost of going on and on without it is astronomical, astronomical, and it will be cumulative: more and more and more and more. But it's also communicable. And by that, I mean, it catches and you know it does.

You know it does because you've got somebody in your workplace that is a chaotic person. God bless you, if it is your boss, and I don't wanna hear anything from us. I don't wanna hear anything from my staff sitting over here. But to just, like, be around someone and it catches. Like, if who's in charge is in a state of chaos, everybody is in chaos. In your home, if you've got a dog that's in chaos, you're in chaos. So we come to a place where we realize, "Wait a second. This is not how we were called to live". Peace is our birthright, it's our birthright. And we have come to get it, and you and I have got to learn how to be alert and aware. We are called to this world. We are not of this world, but we are very much called to this world.

So, we need to know what's going on. But we've got to somehow be people of awareness and of alertness and of sobriety. Scripture tells us to be sober in our thinking, sober in our thinking, and still have a sense of some semblance of peace. Now, I'm embarrassed to tell you that among the many graces of Christ, peace was not toward the top of my list. This is one reason I wanted to talk to you about it, because I get it if you're thinking, "Peace sounds boring to me". That's exactly how I felt about it. I want a lot of things. I want joy. I want lots of love, lots of different things the Lord promises through his Spirit. I wanna learn, I wanna study, I wanna see the Lord move. That peace is like, I mean, why does peace have such a bad reputation? And I wanna say to you, it is no wonder that we associate peace with deadness since when people die, what is the first thing you see people respond with?

Rest in peace. RIP. Who wants to be 6 feet under, in a tomb? So, I mean, that doesn't sound good to us, that peace is dead. I hope to prove to you scripturally that the peace of Christ means you have never been more alive in your life, in your life. We're not talking about being bored here. Here's what I wanted to do. I thought what I would do is, I'm just gonna bring up the screen and this is not something you need to write down. Just soak it in, just soak it in. But sometimes in order to learn what something is, it helps us to contrast it first and learn what it's not. So let's talk about what I put together as the ABCs of what peace isn't. Peace isn't avoidance or apathy.

So, peace is not that you have this friend that has no idea what's going on in the world whatsoever. No wonder they're at peace. They eat berries, they eat berries. They drink deer milk. Anybody know what I'm talking about? They chew on pine needles. They haven't seen another human in weeks and, you know, you're thinking that they're at peace. Well, they're also probably a little bit crazy, just a little bit crazy, because that's what happens when we isolate ourselves like that. That's not peace, when we just avoid it. Don't want to talk about it. Or apathy. We just don't care. We don't care. That's not peace. B: It's not boredom or blindness. And that's what I sort of associated it with, was like, I, you know, I like drama. I said, and I'm really getting over that now.

I've had enough drama to last a lifetime. I'm really getting over that now. It's not boredom or blindness, and it certainly is not coldness or callousness. That's not what peace is, that we've just grown cold, we're numb, we're numb. That's not peace. This is not in your ABCs anymore. It's not resignation. It's not just giving up. In other words, I'm at peace because I've just given up. That's not what peace is. That's not what it is. I want you to remember Isaiah 48:18 where God says, "I wanted to give you peace like a river".

Peace like a river. I don't know when the last time was you went to a river. I was raised on rivers. We were not ocean people. We were river people. I was raised in a small college town in Arkansas where two rivers met and playing was running with bare feet down to the river and a river is always moving and it's fresh and it's splashy and you know things are bad when a river dries up because a river speaks life to us. And I just want to remind you. He said that your peace would be like a river. Not a pond. We think, "No, peace like a pond". No, no, peace like a river. Not a stagnant, immovable pond. Okay, so "shalom" is the word most frequently translated "peace" in the Old Testament Hebrew. You've probably known that for a long time.

So when Jesus is saying, when he shows up in their midst, particularly after he has been raised from the dead, and he says, "Peace be with you". I mean, he's talking, we see the Greek word for peace there that's being translated, but he's talking very Hebrew language: shalom, shalom, over and over in the Old Testament. That would be the word or some form of that word would be translated into peace. It was their greeting. It was a way of coming and going. It's a way, I have a really good friend that is my guide when I go to the Holy Land, and I love listening to him. It's no big deal to him. But every time he answers his phone, "Shalom," I just love it. And then he says it again at the end because it could be coming and going. Shalom. Shalom. Means so much more than, "Hey," so much more than "Hello". It occurs 250 times in the Old Testament.

And so here's what, I have read every single scripture in preparation for you. I have read every single scripture in the entire scriptures, Genesis to Revelation, that has the word "peace" in it. And so I've gone through all of them. And so, and I could really be off here, but I believe that, at least I've come to a maybe a tentative conclusion, but I'm fairly jazzed about it. That shalom is the condition of an image bearer, most alive in his or her image bearing. When we are the person we were created in Christ to be, when we reflect the divine image in our pursuit of love, in our pursuit of desire to do this world good and to be of benefit.

These are things, these are ways, that we bear that image of God, it's the state in which I hope to be able to prove... Turn with me to Numbers chapter 6. I'm gonna prove it to you. Numbers chapter 6. So leave something here in John because that's our key text. Go with me to Numbers chapter 6. Some of you that are Old Testament scripture freaks, you already know as I turn you to Numbers 6, you're already thinking to yourself, "Peace". Then it may be ringing a little bell that I'm turning to the priestly blessing. And that's exactly what I'm doing, because I want you to listen when God told Moses and Aaron how to bless the people, don't you think it's really important when God's the one saying, "This is really what you wanna pray over 'em"? Because I can tell you that just about everything is wrapped up in it. That would be pretty important.

And so, we have in Numbers 6, verse 22: "The Lord spoke to Moses: Tell Aaron and his sons, This is how you are to bless the Israelites. You should say to them, 'May the LORD bless you and protect you; may the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the LORD look with favor on you and give you peace.'" Listen carefully, listen carefully. "'In this way they will pronounce my name over the Israelites, and I will bless them.'" I believe if we look at the whole of what shalom is, it is the state in which the countenance of God is most reflected in the creature of God. When the countenance of God, that his face is shining upon us and our face is turned up where we look up to him, and it's that state when we bear the radiance of that countenance, when the name of our Creator and our covenant God is most apparent on us, that is the state of shalom.

So, what I'm about to do is gonna be major oversimplifications for very multi-layered dynamics and complex causes. But I'm just gonna simplify and give you three word pictures. This is what I want you to imagine with me. These are three kinds of people. If we were to choose an image form, these are three kind of people that are very resistant to peace. Is that fair? And so, I'm gonna tell you the three right off, and then I'm gonna talk about each of them a little bit. So remember, these are just oversimplifications for the case that we're making today to look around us and go: How many people do we live around, work around, worship around, that just are resistant to peace? There are the spinning tops, there are weed eaters, and there are volcanoes.

So, a spinning top, they just, they thrive on drama. Weed eaters thrive off conflict. Volcanoes thrive off rage. What is at stake in all of these when we live around people who are resistant to peace, or we do life around people who are resistant to peace, or we're constantly listening, our ears are in tune, to people who are resistant to peace? What does it look like? What's at stake here? Well, if your best friend, your spouse, or whatever, is a spinning top, then there tends to be some narcissism there because listen, they can't even focus on you. You are a blur. Why? Because they're going just like this. So, it's not that they don't love you. They don't notice you. They don't wound you as much as they just overlook you. You're mainly there for the audience. Am I speaking truth to anybody here?

And so, what do you do? We're gonna talk about, what do you do to guard your peace around these three kinds of people. What you wanna do with the spinning top is you're just kinda gonna lean back, because they're just gonna, these are the kind of people you really like, you really enjoy on occasion, if you've got the energy, but when they leave, you're just, like, exhausted. So that's your spinning top. Anybody know a spinning top? Anybody live with a spinning top? Anybody live with a 14-year-old spinning top? Yes, yes, now we're getting it. Okay, now think with me about weed eaters. Now, weed eaters. This is a different matter. It's a whole different thing that we're talking about here when it comes then to weed eating because weed eating, you see how that thing's gonna spin right there? See, what happens there, a weed eater.

Now, this is getting a little more serious here because weed eaters aren't always mean-spirited, but they can have a bit of a mean streak. You understand what I'm saying? Do you know somebody that, like, you really do love 'em, but every now and then something comes out of your mouth that you think, "That was just a little bit mean. I don't know what to make of that". So a weed eater, you usually have a mixed relationship with your weed eater. So whoever the weed eaters are in your life, you have a mixed, like, you really love them. You also sometimes, you just flat don't like them. Am I speaking to anybody in the house tonight? That's your weed eater. These are people that constantly think you need a trimming, that you get a little high on yourself and it is their job to trim you down. You know your weed eater. You're about to have Thanksgiving with your weed eater.

Here comes uncle weed eater. Here comes brother-in-law weed eater. Here comes grandma weed eater. You know her, oh you know her, just trim you down just a little bit. And you know, sometimes they lower you and in cutting you down, they can cut you, and so, mostly after you've been with your weed eater, after you've been with your spinning top, you're tired. After you've been with your weed eater, you usually have to get bandaids because something, you got a little cut here and there. So, how do you guard your peace around a weed eater? Well, you better learn to duck. And what I'm saying is one of the things that we're gonna be learning tomorrow is preparing in such a way that we have on the shoes of peace. It's gonna be about preparedness and it means that I know in advance, I'm about to be around my spinning top and I'm gonna tell you what I'm gonna do. I'm not spinning with her. Am I telling the truth, Natalie?

I'm not gonna spin with her. I'm not gonna spin with him. He's gonna spin and I'm just gonna go, "I'm not gonna spin with you. I love you. You're darling. I ain't spinning with you". Weed eater, I'm gonna know in advance. It's being prepared in advance for peace. But enjoy my weed eater. I love my weed eater. Every now and then, the way my weed eater trims me down is a little bit funny and I probably needed it. But I'm gonna tell you this, I'm gonna duck with my weed eater, because if I don't, I'm gonna get cut. And you've been cut by them over and over and you think, here's what happens and you think, "You know what? I probably was oversensitive". And you make another date with your weed eater and you get cut again and after a while you go, "You know what? You're a weed eater. That's really what you are. You're a weed eater".

Now, I wanna tell you something. If you text someone and go, "You're a weed eater". I don't know what to do with that. So just be ready to duck. Okay, volcanoes, volcanoes. Now, do you feel it? Do you feel the intensification here? Because we've gone from a spinning top to now, we've got a weed eater, and you're probably going to get a bit hurt. Now, you've got a volcano. You talk about someone who hates peace. This is a person who despises peace. Volcanoes boil and roil inside. I mean, there's a churning, churning, churning, so that churning that we see in the top and we see in the weed eater, it's going on in here. It's going on inside and it's constantly churning and churning and it feeds what churns it.

So the strange thing is, is that raging and angry people, they watch and read what will make them angrier and madder. You mark my word on it. They feed it. It's like an addiction. Have an addiction to rage and they burn and they char and they scar. What in the world are you gonna do? You gotta do more than lean back and duck when it comes to a volcano. You better move yourself back, move back. Sometimes you jump back, you distance yourself and protect yourself. Let me tell you something. They may insist that love love you and perhaps they do, but a volcano will mostly lava you, not love you. Anybody? I don't know, I somehow thought that love was not supposed to burn and scar. And I'm gonna tell you something. If you are single and you have a love interest, that is a volcano, I need to see you in the principal's office because I plead with you, in the name of Jesus, you do not go devote your life to a volcano mate. If you've already got one, you need to seek help. And I mean, listen, I've had therapy.

Most of the people I know have had therapy. I don't know that I won't get it again. I've had to have a round of it in the last 5 years. You can imagine some of the reasons why. But I have no, listen, I'm a big believer. I'm a big believer, especially trauma-informed therapies. Big big believer. But I'm gonna tell you something. If you have to live around a volcano all the time, you need a support group. You need some support. You need to learn how, if you can't just leave it, if you can't just get away from it with somebody that is a friend, you might double think how often you want to be around that volcano. But if there are other people under your roof that you may feel like you cannot get some distance from, you're gonna have to learn how to move back from it, even in the same house.

I have a very toxic person in my life from my family of origin. And one of the things I had to do and it was painful to me and it was painful to the person, I had to scoot back from them emotionally. I was still there in the same physical form, just like always, just doing extended family, just like we'd always done it. I was there present, I laughed, I hugged, we were fun together. We did all the things, but I began to pull back a little bit because I knew she was gonna swing. And if I was sitting close enough, she was gonna hit me, she was gonna hit me, because she just had something in her that needed to, that needed to. Volcanoes. Human rage leads to irrational acts. In the book of Daniel, it tells us that Nebuchadnezzar, and I'm quoting now, "flew into a rage at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego". Remember that? Because they wouldn't bow down and worship him and they wouldn't worship the image that he had built.

And so, he has them thrown into the fiery furnace, and then they don't die. And so, then he flies into a rage again and he has them turn it up seven times hotter and it even consumes the servants of his that were supposed to be guarding them in the fire. That's what rage does. Book of Esther describes how Haman flew into a rage because the Jewish man, Mordecai, would not bow down to him, and he became so utterly irrational that he plotted to have all the Jews in the entire kingdom exterminated. In the book of Matthew, Herod flew into a rage. These words are used. He's described as raging when he couldn't locate the Christ child and he ordered that all the boys two and under be massacred. Luke 6:11: Jesus heals a man's shriveled hand on the Sabbath and it says, and I'm quoting now, "The Pharisees were filled with rage and started discussing with one another what they might do to Jesus," which will end up arresting him, beating him to a point of unrecognizability, and crucifying him.

Irrational acts. The psalmists speak of the nation's raging, and the history books are filled with unconscionable acts that humans have committed against one another in war. Last point we're gonna make tonight, and there are a couple of little things I want you to take down underneath it: Jesus longs for us to recognize the factual reality of our peace. You remember that place in the Gospels where he's, like, looking over Jerusalem and he just weeps and it's a very strong, strong Greek word for crying. I mean, he is, like it's a demonstrative kind of crying. So it's like all the things, maybe he's pulling at his garments. I don't know, maybe he reached down to the ground and put some dirt on his head. Well, I don't know what he did, but he's just like, I mean, crying, just sobbing. And he says, as he looks over Jerusalem, "If you had only known this day what would bring you peace".

He is saying to us, as the church in this nation, into such uproar and chaos, "I have told you what would give you peace. I have told you. My peace I have left with you". If we are in Christ, we have peace. We have the right to experience our peace. Can I hear an "Amen" in the house tonight? Do you know that peace is also contagious? That when you begin to have a little, then people that are just spinning like a top, every now and then they'll notice, you know, "They just don't spin all the time. They're just not always worked up all the time". We have the responsibility to experience our peace. We have the responsibility as a part of our witness, especially in a chaotic culture. It's what's supposed to make us stand out in the midst of so much confusion, is that we have a settledness about us.
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